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Cheslin Kolbe bursts into SA-dominated Top 10 highest paid rugby rich list

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Oct 22, 2021

Springbok star winger Cheslin Kolbe recently completed a move from Toulouse to Top 14 rivals Toulon on a deal that makes him the fourth highest-paid rugby player in the world.

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Kolbe was unveiled by Toulon last week after he decided to call time on a four-year stay at Toulouse.

According to the Ruck website’s list of top-earning players for the 2021/22 season, Kolbe has burst into the top five.

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Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard, who is on the books of another French Top 14 side Montpellier, along with former All Blacks utility back Charles Piutau who these days plays for the Bristol Bears in England, both receive an annual salaries of around R20 million.

Another Springbok, Eben Etzebeth, is third on the list with his estimated R18 million contract at Toulon. In July of this year, the 28-year-old lock signed a new three-year deal that will see him remain at the club until June 2023.

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Kolbe and Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell complete the top five with salaries of around R17 million each. Russell plays for yet another French side, Racing 92.

England lock Maro Itoje (Saracens) comes in at sixth with a salary of around R16 million, followed by Suntory Sungoliath’s All Blacks star Beauden Barrett and Racing 92’s New Zealand-born French backline ace Virimi Vakatawa at R15.7 million each.

Rounding out the top 10 are Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper and England captain Owen Farrell with estimated incomes of R15 million each at Toyota Verblitz and Saracens, respectively.

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TOP 10 HIGHEST PAID RUGBY PLAYERS:

T1. Handre Pollard (R20 million, Montpellier)
T1. Charles Piutau (R20 million, Bristol Bears)
3. Eben Etzebeth (R18 million, Toulon)
T4. Cheslin Kolbe (R17 million, Toulon)

T4. Finn Russell (R17 million, Racing 92)
6 Maro Itoje (R16 million, Saracens)
T7. Beauden Barrett (R15.7 million, Suntory Sungoliath)
T7. Virimi Vakatawa (R15.7 million, Racing 92)
T9. Michael Hooper (R15 million, Toyota Verblitz)
T9. Owen Farrell (R15 million, Saracens)

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